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I 29.9/2:ES 1 




JUMENTS 
UTORY ITEM 



1 2000 



CANYONS 



BRARY 



OF THE ESCALANTE 



Information and Hiking Guide 




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Everett Ruess linocuts taken from 

Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty 

by W. L. Rusho, published by Gibbs-Smith. 

Used by permission. 



These days away from the city have been the happiest of my 
life... It has all been a beautiful dream, sometimes tranquil, 
sometimes fantastic, and with enough pain and tragedy to 
make the delights possible by contrast. 



Everett Ruess 

From a letter to his friend Bill, 

soon after beginning his journey. 




The Escalante Canyons Include some of the most remote, wild, 
and beautiful country in the Southwest. The Escalante, the 
last river in the continental United States to be named, 
meanders slowly between towering canyon walls. Its 
tributaries, also deeply entrenched in sandstone, contain 
arches, natural bridges, and waterfalls. The area is reminiscent 
of Glen Canyon before Lake Powell and offers some of the 
finest opportunities for desert hiking on the Colorado Plateau. 



2 

BASIC INFORMATION 

ADMTNTSTRATTON AND INFORMATION 

Public lands in the Escalante area are administered by the 
National Park Service (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area), 
the Bureau of Land Management (Escalante Resource Area), 
and the U.S. Forest Service (Dixie National Forest). 

Information about the Escalante area may be obtained from the 
following agencies: 

Escalante Interagency Visitor Information Center, 

PO Box 511, Escalante, UT 84726 (435)826-5499 

National Park Service, Glen Canyon NRA, PO Box 51 1, 
Escalante, UT 84726 (435)826-4315 

Bureau of Land Management, Escalante Resource Area, 
PO Box 225, Escalante, UT 84726 (435)826-4291 

U.S. Forest Service, Dixie National Forest, PO Box 246, 
Escalante, UT 84726 (435)826-5400 

EMERGENCIES 

National Park Service: Escalante Ranger Station 

(435)826-4315 
24 Hour Dispatch 
1(800)582-4351 

Bureau of Land Management: Escalante Office 

(435)826-4291 

U.S.Forest Service: Escalante Ranger District 

(435)826-5400 

Garfield County Sheriff: (435)676-241 1 

From within Garfield County: 91 1 



BEFORE YOU GO 

PFRMTTS 

Please obtain a free Backcountry Use Permit from the 
Interagency Visitor Center in Escalante or at established 
trailheads. These permits help provide important statistical 
information which assists resource monitoring and 
management. Route itinery information can help personnel 
locate hikers should an emergency occur or a search effort for 
overdue hikers be necessary. 

Permits for commercial trips are required, and a fee is charged. 
Organized groups such as hiking clubs, Boy Scouts, and 
school groups also need permits. Contact the Interagency 
Visitor Center or appropriate agency for a determination as to 
the type of permit required. 

MA PS 

The waterproof Trails Illustrated map, USGS topographic maps, 
the Escalante Resource Area Recreation Map, and other 
publications are available for sale at the Escalante Interagency 
Visitor Center. 

Topographic maps may also be ordered from the USGS, Public 
Inquiries Office, 1 25 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 
84138. 

Utah road maps and multipurpose maps may be obtained from 
the Utah Travel Council, Council Hall, Salt Lake City, UT 
84114. 

WAJ F R 

Water availability varies from hike to hike. An abundance of 
springs may be available on some hikes; other hikes may have 
no water at all. Always filter or boil all water since Giardia or 
other pathogens may be present. 



WFATHFR 

The best months for hiking the canyons are March through 
mid-June and September and October. Springtime weather 
may vary from warm days and cool nights to rainy and even 
snowy conditions. Summer months bring very hot 
temperatures while autumn usually promises pleasant hiking 
weather. Winter temperatures may dip well below freezing. 

Thunderstorm season is from mid-July through September and 
is the period when flash flood danger is greatest. Flash floods 
may occur anytime, however, so keep an eye on the sky - 
especially before entering a narrow canyon. Camp above the 
flood plain each night to avoid an unpleasant "midnight 
surprise." Remember that storms several miles away may 
cause flash floods where you are, even though the skies may 
be clear above you. 




Fl QATTNG THF FSCAI ANTF RTVFR 

The Escalante River flows through exquisite desert canyons 
before emptying into Lake Powell, eighty miles from its source. 
The river's potential for running is limited, however. 
Generally, only peak runoff flows are deep enough to be 
floated. While high water periods may vary, peak runoff 
usually lasts for about two weeks. Runoffs may occur anytime 
from early April through May. 

For more information about floating the Escalante River, 
contact the Interagency Visitor Information Center and request 
a copy of the handout "Floating the Escalante River." 



MINIMUM-IMPACT CAMPING 



The Increasing popularity of 
wildland recreation has led to 
unprecedented demands on our 
backcountry, resulting in greater 
impact on the resources we all 
love and enjoy. 

Many areas have been "loved to 
death." The desert is not 
indestructible rock and sand; it 
is a fragile ecosystem, and scars 
take years to heal. Proper low- 
impact hiking and camping are 
required to preserve this pristine 
desert country. By being 
courteous and thoughtful, we 
can leave the area as we would 
like it left for us. There are 
certain requirements for Glen Canyon NRA. Please review and 
practice the following minimum-impact regulations and 
guidelines: 




GROUP SIZE: Large groups cause more impact to trails and 
campsites than do small groups. Large groups concentrate 
human waste. Large groups are more intrusive and diminish 
the wilderness experience for others. For these reasons, the 
recommended group size limit is eight persons. The maximum 
number of people allowed in the Escalante backcountry is 
twelve. Pack and saddle stock are limited to twelve animals. 



BACKCOUNTRY TRAVEL: When hiking, walk on slickrock or 
sand whenever possible. Stay on established trails and avoid 
creating new ones. Never cut switchbacks. Cryptobiotic soils 
(the dark crust of lichens, fungi, algae, and moss which binds 
desert soils) is easily damaged when walked upon and may 
take years to regenerate. In canyons, walk in or along streams 
so that high water will erase your footprints. Following these 
practices will prevent erosion and soil damage. 



CAMPSITE SELECTION: When possible, choose an existing 
campsite with no vegetation or organic soil. Sandy or 
slickrock benches make the best sites. All campsites should 
be at least 100 feet, preferably 200 feet, from water sources 
to prevent contamination. Do not make "improvements" such 
as digging trenches or building rock structures. Avoid 
trampling vegetation around the perimeter of your camp. 
When leaving your campsite, rehabilitate the area by scattering 
dead leaves or twigs. Make sure that nothing has been left 
behind. 

CAMPFIRES: Fire rings, charcoal, soot stains on rocks, and 
garbage in fire pits all leave unsightly scars. Charcoal from 
modern fires may contaminate archaeological evidence, making 
it impossible to date ancient campfire remains. For these 
reasons, fires are not allowed within Glen Canyon NRA in the 
Escalante district and are discouraged on BLM lands. 

SANITATION: The dry desert climate often preserves waste 
before it can decompose, so extra diligence is required. For 
human waste, dig a "cat hole" six to eight inches deep and at 
least 100 feet from water sources. Carry out toilet paper in a 
plastic bag. Washing should be done at least 100 feet from 
water sources. Use only biodegradable soaps, and pour wash 
water on the ground away from springs and streams. Carry 
out all trash and garbage. 

PETS AND LIVESTOCK: Dogs threaten wildlife and may 
prevent hikers from seeing any animals. Dogs foul campsites, 
trails, and streams, so their excrement must be disposed of in 
the same manner as human waste. Dogs may get into trouble 
in this rugged country. For their own safety, to prevent 
intrusions on others, and for your convenience, pets are best 
left at home. If you do bring a pet, it must be kept on a leash 
within Glen Canyon NRA. 

CAMPING GEAR: Brightly-colored packs and tents shrink the 
wilderness by being so noticeable. Use drab-colored gear and 
camp where your tent will not be easily seen. 



HIKES IN THE ESCALANTE 

ROADS AND TRATI HFADS 

Utah Highway 12 is the major route to the Escalante area, with 
side roads leading to established trailheads or starting points. 

The historic Hole-in-the-Rock road begins five miles east of the 
town of Escalante and continues south 57 miles to the Hole-in- 
the-Rock historic site where Mormon pioneers built a road 
down to the Colorado River. Trailheads can be reached by 
taking the Harris Wash, Egypt, Early Weed Bench, Red Well, 
Hurricane Wash, or Fortymile Ridge roads (all signed at their 
intersections with the Hole-in-the-Rock road). 

The Burr Trail begins at Boulder, Utah, and continues 66 miles 
to Highway 276 near Bullfrog. Trailheads for Deer Creek and 
The Gulch are along this road. 

The Wolverine road leads south from the Burr Trail 19 miles 
east of Boulder, and the Moody Creek road leads south from 
the Burr Trail just west of Capitol Reef National Park. There 
are no established trailheads along these roads, but they 
provide access to the Wolverine Pertrified Wood Natural Area, 
Horse Canyon, Silver Falls Creek, Moody Creek, and others. 

The Hell's Backbone road leads north around the upper reaches 
of Death Hollow and Sand Creek and connects to Highway 12 
at the town of Escalante and again three miles west of 
Boulder. Trailheads for The Box and Death Hollow are along 
this road. 

Only Highway 12 and the Burr Trail (for most of its length) are 
paved. Travel conditions on the other roads may vary, 
depending on the season and recent weather, so check at the 
Interagency Visitor Information Center for current conditions. 



8 



THE HIKES 

The canyons of the Escalante River offer many fascinating 
trips. The Escalante is rugged country with no formal trail 
system. Hikers should be experienced in the use of map and 
compass and thoroughly familiar with the techniques of canyon 
and slickrock hiking. Maps and other information are available 
at the Interagency Visitor Information Center in the town of 
Escalante. Always consult with a ranger at the Information 
Center for route information, trail and weather conditions, and 
other necessary information needed for a safe trip. 

The following are just a few of the many hikes available in the 
Escalante wilderness. Happy trails! 



HARRTS WASH 

MAPS: USGS Silver Falls Bench and Red Breaks 7.5 minute 
quadrangles. 

TRAILHEAD: Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road south from 
Highway 12 about 10.5 miles to the signed junction, then 6.5 
miles on a fair road to the signed trailhead and hiker 
registration box. 

HIKING DISTANCE: From Harris Wash trailhead to the 
Escalante River - 10 miles (one way). 

WATER AVAILABILITY: A perennial stream flows in Harris 
Wash. Generally, seeps and springs are of insufficient flow to 
provide usable quantities of water. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: Harris Wash is an easy hike with no 
technical difficulties. The stream must be continually crossed 
or waded. Wear appropriate shoes. 



GENERAL INFORMATION: Harris Wash offers an excellent 
opportunity to see a streamcourse develop from a broad, 
sandy wash to a deeply-entrenched canyon. A minimum of 
two days should be spent exploring Harris Wash. Begin the 
hike from the trailhead by walking downstream in the wash 
bottom. Do not cross the wash and continue on the road, for 
it leads only to an abandoned drill pad. 

About 3.5 miles downstream, the creek passes through a 
narrow notch. To the north of the notch is an abandoned 
stream meander, known as a rincon, which was created when 
the stream cut through and straightened its course. To the 
south is a brushy side canyon which comes to a pouroff about 
one-third of a mile up. 

Harris Wash continues its winding course 7 miles to the 
Escalante River. Two more side canyons enter the wash from 
the south, and, though brushy, can provide interesting 
exploring opportunities. As the canyon nears the Escalante 
River, high cliff walls soar, streaked with magnificent patterns 
of desert varnish. The lower three miles of Harris Wash exhibit 
the scale and grandeur typical of the canyons of the Escalante. 

Once you reach the Escalante River, you can continue 
upstream about one-third mile to the stark, dry, extremely 
beautiful Silver Falls Creek, which enters from the east. You 
may wish to spend a day exploring this extraordinary canyon 
which derived its name from the great streaks of desert varnish 
which drape the canyon's walls. Silver Falls Creek is generally 
dry, so carry all the water you may need. 



10 



TWFIMTYFTVF MTI F WASH 

MAPS: USGS Sunset Flat and Egypt 7.5 minute quadrangles. 

TRAILHEADS: 1. Twentyfive Mile Wash - Follow Hole-in-the- 
Rock road 16 miles to the signed Egypt road junction, then 
drive 3 miles on a good road to the signed parking area. There 
is no hiker registration box at this trailhead. 

2. Egypt - Many visitors make a loop hike from Egypt trailhead 
to Fence Canyon, the Escalante River, Twentyfive Mile Wash, 
and back to Egypt trailhead. To reach Egypt trailhead, follow 
the Hole-in-the-Rock road 16 miles to the Egypt road junction 
and then 10 miles to the trailhead. 

3. Early Weed Bench - Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road 23 
miles to the signed Early Weed Bench road, then drive 6 miles 
on a fair to poor road to the signed trailhead. Access to 
Twentyfive Mile Wash is by way of a tributary named Fox 
Canyon. 

HIKING DISTANCES: From Twentyfive Mile Wash trailhead to 
the Escalante River - 14.2 miles (one way); Egypt trailhead to 
the mouth of Twentyfive Mile Wash via the Escalante River - 
8.7 miles (one way); Early Weed Bench trailhead to the 
Escalante River via Fox Canyon - 7 miles (one way). At least 
two to three days should be spent exploring the wash. 

WATER AVAILABILITY: Twentyfive Mile Wash contains a 
perennial stream (beginning 4-5 miles from the trailhead), but 
there are no usable seeps or springs. A stream with numerous 
pools flows in Fence Canyon. Fox Canyon provides a good 
water supply. Water from any pool or spring should be boiled 
or treated before drinking. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: Twentyfive Mile Wash presents an easy 
hike with no technical difficulties. Wading shoes are needed 
for walking in the stream. The streambed tends to contain a 
considerable amount of clay, so the wash presents a 
somewhat "muckier" hike than other canyons, especially after 
high stream flows. 



11 

GENERAL INFORMATION: The hike from the Twentyfive Mile 
Wash trailhead begins by hiking down the dry wash and simply 
following the streambed. 

The loop hike from Egypt trailhead entails descending an old 
stock trail down a fairly steep slickrock slope before 
descending into Fence Canyon and on to the Escalante River. 
The hike then continues 5.5 miles downriver to the mouth of 
Twentyfive Mile Wash where the route proceeds upstream to 
one of several possible exits from the canyon back to Egypt 
trailhead. Hikers interested in this loop hike may contact a 
ranger at the Interagency Visitor Information Center for more 
detailed route information and a free route guide. 

The route from Early Weed Bench into Fox Canyon begins by 
heading in a northerly direction and descending off the bench. 
This route takes the hiker down over slickrock to a small 
tributary of Fox Canyon. (This will actually be the second 
tributary encountered. The first is easily crossed.) This 
second drainage can be crossed in only a few places, most of 
which are toward the upper end of the drainage. Once you 
have crossed the second drainage, follow the tributary toward 
Fox Canyon to the east, to a point between this tributary and 
the next short drainage into Fox Canyon downstream. This 
point provides the access route down into Fox Canyon and is 
composed of several short, steep slickrock pitches onto a silt 
bench. Please look for the well-used route off the upstream 
end of this bench and avoid contributing to erosion by creating 
a new path. It is now possible to follow Fox Canyon, which is 
fairly brushy, downstream to Twentyfive Mile Wash. 



12 

FFNCF CANYON 

MAP: USGS Egypt 7.5 minute quadrangle. 

TRAILHEAD: Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road south from 
Highway 12 about 16 miles to the signed Egypt road junction, 
then drive 10 miles on a fair road to the signed trailhead and 
hiker registration box. 

HIKING DISTANCE: From Egypt trailhead to the Escalante 
River - 2.75 miles (one way). 

WATER AVAILABILITY: A stream with numerous pools flows 
in Fence Canyon. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: Hiking from Egypt trailhead to the river 
results in an elevation loss in excess of 1,000 feet. A steep 
slickrock slope is encountered initially; at other places, sandy 
areas must be traversed; the canyon bottom is quite brushy. 
Wading shoes are optional unless you are planning to hike up 
or down the Escalante River. 




13 








GENERAL INFORMATION: A beautiful panorama awaits you 
from the Egypt trailhead at the edge of Allen Dump Bench. 
You can see views of the Escalante country, the Henry 
Mountains, and Fence Canyon as it leads toward the Escalante 
River. Fence Canyon is primarily used as a route to the 
Escalante River and other canyons up- or downstream, but 
Fence Canyon itself presents an interesting day hike. 

The hike begins at the edge of Allen Dump Bench and winds 
down to a steep slickrock slope. Near the top of the bench is 
a fairly obvious and well-used path switchbacking down to the 
slickrock. Please use the path and avoid shortcutting the 
switchbacks or creating new paths. A stock trail utilizing steps 
cut into the rock leads down the slickrock, but the trail is not 
always easy to find. It is possible to walk down the slickrock 
without using the trail, however. 

Both Fence Canyon and its unnamed northern branch have 
impassable pouroffs at their upper ends. To descend into 
Fence Canyon, it is necessary, therefore, to skirt its northern 
rim and head toward the point at the confluence of the two 
canyons. The route follows an old stock trail which descends 
into the south branch of Fence Canyon near the point. Both 
branches of Fence Canyon present a beautiful and interesting 
hike. 



14 



SCORPION GULCH 

MAPS: USGS Egypt and Scorpion Gulch 7.5 minute 
quadrangles. 

TRAILHEAD: Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road south from 
Highway 12 about 23 miles to the Early Weed Bench turnoff at 
Cat Pasture, then drive 6 miles on a fair to poor road to the 
end of the road at an old drill site. The hiker registration box 
is located about a half mile before the end of the road. 

HIKING DISTANCE: From Early Weed Bench trailhead to the 
head of Scorpion Gulch - 5.5 miles (one way). From the head 
of Scorpion Gulch to the Escalante River - 3.3 miles (one way) 

WATER AVAILABILITY: Water won't normally be found 
between the trailhead and the midpoint of Scorpion Gulch 
except after heavy rains. A few seeps and pools can be found 
in the lower half of Scorpion Gulch, and a small stream 
normally flows in the lower end. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: This is a rather challenging hike 
requiring cross-country route-finding skills. There is a lengthy 
hike over slickrock and sand, a descent down a sand dune, and 
walking through soft sand and alluvial deposits. The lower half 
of Scorpion Gulch is an easier walk beside a small stream with 
no difficulties other than two boulder jams and a small pouroff, 
requiring some minor scrambling. 



15 



GENERAL INFORMATION: From the end of the road at the 
abandoned drill site, follow the remains of an old jeep trail 
about 1 .5 miles until it turns to the south. At that point, 
continue east across a sandy, flat area. If you are near the 
preferred route, you will see a small arch to the south. 

About a mile after leaving the jeep trail, you will descend from 
a small plateau down onto Scorpion Flat. The flat is comprised 
entirely of rolling slickrock with intermittent patches of sand. 
Before descending onto the flat, it is wise to locate Scorpion 
Gulch from a high point and take a compass bearing on the 
upper end of it. After making the descent, you will not see 
Scorpion Gulch again until you reach it. The approximate 
direction is east-southeast. 

Access into Scorpion Gulch is by way of a sand dune on the 
north side of the canyon about % mile downstream from the 
pouroff at the upper end. About three-fourths of a mile 
downstream is another sand dune which completely blocks the 
canyon. The downstream side of this dune is steep and easy 
to descend, but it is quite a struggle to get back up! 




16 



COYOTF GUI CH - HURRTCANF WASH 

MAPS: USGS King Mesa and Stevens Canyon South 7.5 
minute quadrangles. 

TRAILHEADS: 1 . Red Well - Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road 
30 miles to the signed junction, then drive 1 .5 miles to the 
trailhead and hiker registration box. This trailhead provides 
access to upper Coyote Gulch. 

2. Hurricane Wash - Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road 33 miles 
to the parking area beside the road. The hiker registration box 
is located 0.2 mile down the wash. 

3. Fortymile Ridge - Follow Hole-in-the-Rock road 35 miles to 
the signed junction, then drive 7 miles to the trailhead. The 
last two miles of this road is through deep sand and is not 
suitable for low-clearance vehicles. 

HIKING DISTANCES: From Red Well trailhead to the Escalante 
River - 13 miles (one way); Hurricane Wash trailhead to the 
Escalante River - 12.3 miles (one way); Fortymile Ridge to 
Crack-in-the-Wall (access to lower Coyote Gulch or the 
Escalante River) - 2 miles (one way). 

WATER AVAILABILITY: Coyote Gulch contains a number of 
seeps and springs in addition to a perennial stream. One 
particularly good spring flows from the canyon wall just 
downstream from Jacob Hamblin Arch. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: The perennial stream in Coyote Gulch 
begins about one mile from the Red Well trailhead. The stream 
in Hurricane Wash begins about 3.5 miles from the trailhead. 
Wading shoes are a must. 

The hike through Coyote Gulch is relatively easy, with two 
minor exceptions - a climb down a ledge near a waterfall and a 
steep descent down sandstone followed by a rather difficult 
climb down a second ledge. (Both of these are described in 
GENERAL INFORMATION.) 



17 

GENERAL INFORMATION: Coyote Gulch contains two arches, 
a natural bridge, and several waterfalls. It is easy to 
understand why this beautiful canyon is by far the most 
popular hiking destination of all the canyons of the Escalante. 
When hiking in Coyote Gulch in spring or fall, plan on 
encountering a number of other visitors. 

A minimum of three days will be required to explore the length 
of Coyote Gulch. From Red Well or Hurricane trailhead, the 
canyon develops from wide, sandy washes to a narrow canyon 
with towering walls. Follow the wash downstream from either 
trailhead. Hurricane Wash joins Coyote Gulch about 5 miles 
from the Hurricane Wash trailhead. 

The hike through the lush riparian zone of Coyote Gulch is 
relatively easy - except for those two exceptions. At the 
second waterfall below Cliff Arch, follow the ledge along the 
south wall to a place about 100 feet downstream where it is 
possible to scramble down off the ledges. 

About 0.4 mile up Coyote Gulch from the Escalante River is an 
impenetrable boulder jam. To bypass this obstacle, follow the 
trail on the right-hand side of the stream across the lower 
portion of a sand slide and then traverse the fairly steep 
slickrock slope. (Stay low and near the edge.) The slickrock 
slope ends at a ledge about 5.5 feet high against which lean 
several small logs to assist hikers in climbing back up. 

You can enjoy an outstanding view from the canyon rim by 
hiking from Fortymile Ridge to Crack-in-the-Wall. After 
scrambling down through the crack - a narrow route between 
the cliff face and huge rock slabs which have peeled off the 
cliff - a trail leads down a steep sand dune to lower Coyote 
Gulch. It is great to hike down the dune, but it is definitely 
strenuous hiking back up! The elevation difference is about 
700 feet. 



18 

FTFTYMTI F CRFFK 

MAPS: Sooner Bench and Davis Gulch 7.5 minute 
quadrangles. 

TRAILHEADS: 1 . Cave Point - This aptly-named projection 
from Fiftymile Bench is the landmark for this unsigned access 
route. Follow Hole-in-the-Rock road approximately 47.5 miles. 
Here, the road dips into a small draw, recognizable by a 
lightly-defined road heading west toward Cave Point. Park at 
this draw and walk east down the draw, a tributary which joins 
Fiftymile Creek 2.1 miles downstream. 
2. The Soda - Follow Hole-in-the-Rock road approximately 
49.3 miles to a sign which identifies a spring near the road. 
Back up a short distance and park in the parking area above 
the cattle watering tank. Walk past the tank and down the 
draw, another tributary which joins Fiftymile Creek 1.75 miles 
downstream. 

HIKING DISTANCES: From Cave Point trailhead to Lake Powell 
- 5.2 miles (one way); The Soda trailhead to Lake Powell - 5.5 
miles (one way). 

WATER AVAILABILITY: A small stream begins about 2.5 - 3 
miles downstream from the trailheads in Fiftymile Creek. 
There are no usable seeps or springs. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: There are no technical difficulties on 
this hike. A short section of narrows about Vi mile upstream 
from Lake Powell requires wading, so wading shoes are 
recommended. 



19 



GENERAL INFORMATION: Hikers starting from the Cave 
Point trailhead will encounter a pouroff about mile down the 
channel from the road. This obstacle is easily circumvented by 
backtracking a short distance and exiting the stream channel 
on the north side. Parallel the channel and drop back down to 
the streambed once you are past the pouroff. Other than this 
one pouroff, there are no other obstacles on either route. 

About mile beyond the confluence of the two major 
tributaries, the small stream of water appears. A short 
distance farther is an alcove-type arch on the north rim high 
above the streambed. 

Entering from the north about 2.25 miles from the confluence 
of the two tributaries is a side canyon well worth exploring. 
This short tributary progressively narrows to a point where 
some interesting chimneying (a rock climbing technique) 
possibilities are available to those who are so inclined. If you 
have a Davis Gulch quadrangle, notice how this side canyon 
lies along a northwest-southeast joint which has created similar 
side canyons in Willow Gulch to the north and Davis Gulch and 
Clear Creek to the south. 

Downstream from this tributary is the short narrows section 
where wading will be required. You can continue down the 
canyon for some distance beyond the narrows, depending on 
the current level of Lake Powell. 




20 



DAVTS GUI CH 

MAP: USGS Davis Gulch 7.5 minute quadrangle. 

TRAILHEAD: Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road approximately 
50.5 miles to the crossing of upper Fiftymile Creek. Continue 
about one-tenth of a mile beyond the crossing to an unmarked 
flat area on the south side of the road. From this point, the 
unmarked cross-country route heads north-northeast, 
paralleling Fiftymile Creek for about Vi mile, then northeast to 
an old stock trail which descends into lower Davis Gulch. 

HIKING DISTANCE: From the trailhead to the stock trail - 3.5 
to 4 miles (one way); stock trail to Lake Powell - 14 + mile (one 
way); Lake Powell to pouroff in upper Davis Gulch - 3.5 miles 
(one way). 

WATER AVAILABILITY: A small stream begins just upstream 
from Bement Arch. There are no usable seeps or springs. 
Pocket water and plunge pools are seasonal. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: The approach route to the stock trail is 
over sand and slickrock. The stock trail route into Davis Gulch 
does not present any problems. The route from the stock trail 
to Bement Arch is quite brushy, and there are a number of 
beaver ponds which must be waded through or circumvented. 
Upstream from Bement Arch, the route is sandy, without dense 
brush. 




HAPFY JOURNEYS 



21 

GENERAL INFORMMATION: When hiking from the Fiftymile 
Point area, stay else to Fiftymile Creek for the first Vi mile, 
then stay somewhat to the west of Davis Gulch and hike 
parallel to it until you reach the stock trail area. Getting too 
close to the rim of Davis Gulch results in much more up and 
down walking over rolling slickrock, especially near the upper 
end of the gulch. A small slot canyon tributary, difficult to 
cross, will also be encountered about a mile north of the road - 
if you are too close to the rim. 

About 3.5 - 4 miles from the road, observe the small plateau 
on the opposite side of Davis Gulch. A notch in the plateau's 
side near the top is a landmark for finding the stock trail. (A 
much larger notch can also be seen downstream in Davis 
Gulch. This larger notch is about V* mile downstream of the 
stock trail.) When you are directly opposite the first notch, 
head toward the canyon rim to find a bowl-shaped depression. 
The stock trail may not be readily apparent, but you can find it 
if you explore around a bit. 

From the bottom of the stock trail, the hike downstream to 
Lake Powell or upstream to the pouroff is straightforward. 
Please follow established trails where possible, and avoid 
starting new ones, especially near the lower end of the gulch. 

An alternate entrance into Davis Gulch is a challenging 
scramble down through the narrows at the upper end. This 
involves chimneying down past several chockstones and 
pouroffs. Much of the route is very difficult. One long 
slickrock chute ends in a dropoff into a pool and cannot be 
climbed back up unless a rope is left in place. Other pools may 
be deep enough to require swimming, or they may be dry, 
depending on recent weather. If this route is taken, it is best 
to continue on down the canyon and return by way of the 
stock trail and across the bench. 



22 



MOODY CREEK 

MAPS: USGS Scorpion Gulch 7.5 minute quadrangle. 

TRAILHEAD: From Boulder, Utah, follow the Burr Trail road 
east 19 miles to the signed Petrified Wood Area access road. 
Drive south on this road 20 miles to the Moody Creek road. 
(You can also follow the Burr Trail road 33 miles east to the 
Moody Creek road. Both roads eventually meet and continue 
south into Moody Creek.) The road descends into the dry 
wash of Main Moody Creek Canyon and follows it for about 
3 miles. 

About 3 miles east of Main Moody Creek Canyon, just west of 
Purple Hills, is a fork. The right fork leads south into Middle 
Moody Creek. The road is generally passable for four-wheel 
drive vehicles with high clearance. (Road conditions vary and 
are subject to the weather!) The road is passable for about 2 
miles. Park at this point. (The last mile before the wash 
crossing is in poor condition and is closed to vehicles anyway.) 

HIKING DISTANCES: From the parking area to the Escalante 
River (via Middle Moody Creek) - 6 miles (one way). 

WATER AVAILABILITY: Water may sometimes be found in 
Middle and East Moody Canyons, but it is best not to count on 
it. A fairly dependable trickle of water flows intermittently in 
the lower mile of East Moody Canyon. 

■ 

HIKING CONDITIONS: The hike down Moody Creek is scenic 
and moderately strenuous, without technical difficulties. 



23 



GENERAL INFORMATION: From your vehicle, follow the road 
one mile to the wash, enter the wash, and proceed 
downstream. Middle Moody Canyon is quite broad and open 
and has many colorful Chinle formations topped by cliffs of 
Windgate sandstone. Walking is easy, as it is throughout most 
of this hike. The canyon gradually narrows; the Chinle 
formation diminishes, and the Windgate cliffs become 
dominant by the time you reach Main Moody Canyon. 

Follow Main Moody Canyon downstream to the Escalante 
River. You can retrace your steps, or you can make a loop 
hike by walking down the Escalante River 1.5 miles to East 
Moody Canyon. Ascend the canyon and take the north 
branch. Continue up the north branch to the next fork. Take 
the right fork, but instead of following the bottom of the 
canyon, climb the ridge between the two canyons and follow 
the remains of an old uranium exploration road. This is a 
continuation of the road from the Purple Hills to Middle Moody 
Canyon. It leads out of the north branch of East Moody 
Canyon through a saddle and down into Middle Moody 
Canyon. 

Views from the saddle include extensive, richly-colored 
exposures of the Chinle formation and an expansive view to 
the north of the upper reaches of Middle Moody Canyon, the 
Circle Cliffs, and Deer Point. Below the saddle on the north is 
the remains of an old uranium exploration camp. Follow the 
road down past the cabin and west along the south side of 
upper Middle Moody Canyon. The road follows the south side 
of this inner canyon until the canyon ends and can be crossed. 
You can walk back up the road to your vehicle. 



24 

STIVFR FAIISCRFFK 

MAP: Silver Falls Bench 7.5 minute quadrangle. 

TRAILHEADS: 1 . From Boulder, Utah, follow the Burr Trail 
road east 19 miles to the signed Petrified Wood Area access 
road. Drive south on this road 20 miles to the Moody Creek 
road. At this junction, turn right, then drive 2.7 miles. At this 
junction, turn right again onto the road which leads to upper 
Silver Falls Creek. This road is in fair condition but becomes 
progressively rougher as it nears the marked Glen Canyon NRA 
boundary. The road is closed beyond the boundary to vehicle 
traffic. 

2. Most of those who hike in Silver Falls Creek reach the 
canyon by hiking down Harris Wash from its trailhead to the 
Escalante River, then proceeding upriver about mile before 
crossing the Escalante to enter Silver Falls Creek canyon. 

HIKING DISTANCE: From the Glen Canyon NRA boundary to 
the Escalante River - 5.3 miles (one way). 

WATER AVAILABILITY: A small, intermittent, and alkaline 
stream may be found in lower Silver Falls Creek, but it is not 
generally usable. Emigrant Spring, 2.8 miles from the river at 
the rear of a rincon, is reliable, but its water should be treated. 
Other seeps may be encountered but are unreliable or of 
insufficient flow. 

HIKING CONDITIONS: Silver Falls Creek presents an easy hike 
with no technical difficulties. The intermittent stream may be 
encountered in the lower portion of the canyon, but wading 
shoes are not required. 




25 



Clemson University 

3 1604 014 676 839 



GENERAL INFORMATION: Silver Falls Creek was named for 
the colorful streaks of desert varnish which drape the canyon 
walls. Silver Falls Creek, along with Harris Wash, was 
traversed by the Halls Crossing wagon road which led from 
Escalante to southeastern Utah. This road was used after the 
Hole-in-the-Rock road was abandoned, but it is now closed to 
vehicle traffic in the canyons. Watch for remnants of the old 
road as you hike. 

Upper Silver Falls Creek has three wide branches. The road to 
the Glen Canyon NRA boundary follows the main branch. A 
little over a mile downstream from the boundary, the North 
Fork enters the main branch, and a mile up the North Fork from 
this confluence, the Dry Fork branches off. 

As you continue down the main fork of Silver Falls Creek, you 
can see an interesting rincon on the north side of the canyon. 
The Emigrant Spring rincon is 1.1 miles farther downstream on 
the south side of the canyon. 

From Emigrant Spring rincon downstream, the canyon narrows 
as the soft Chinle rock formation gradually becomes less 
exposed. The canyon does widen out somewhat again as it 
nears the river. 

Approximately 1.5 miles upstream from the Escalante River is 
the George Hobbs inscription and memorial. During February, 
1883, Hobbs was using this route to take supplies by horse 
and mule to Bluff, Utah, when he was stranded by a 
snowstorm. Believing that he would not survive, Hobbs 
pecked his name into the rock wall. After five days, he was 
able to resume his journey. Please do not add your own name, 
initials, or graffiti to this historical landmark. 




The canyons of the Escalante remain a special place - a bit of 
magic in a world grown too real. The need for places such as 
these, both for ourselves and for future generations, can 
become only more critical. Only by our efforts can we ensure 
that the wilderness left in the world is not diminished - or lost 
forever. 



As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon... I prefer 
the saddle to the streetcar... the obscure and difficult trail, 
leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep 
peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. 



Everett Ruess 

From his last letter to his brother, Waldo, 

before disappearing into the canyons of the 



Escalante. 



11/97